Vote to expand merger is today

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, December 9, 2015

By Stephanie Nelson

The Brewton Standard

A vote will be taken today to expand the proposed merger/consolidation of Jefferson Davis and Faulkner State to include Reid State and Alabama Southern community colleges.

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In November, the board approved a resolution to begin the planning phase of a JDCC and Faulkner State merger and to notify the Alabama Commission on Higher Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) of its decision.

In the weeks following, committees have examined the structure and “decided to add a few institutions in the mix,” said JDCC interim president Dr. William “Bill” Blow Tuesday.

“I think it’s a good idea to merge us all,” Blow said of the four institutions with campuses in Clark, Monroe, Conecuh, Escambia and Baldwin counties. “The counties are contiguous and all connect in this region.”

Reid State and ASCC are “relatively small” institutions with enrollment numbers comparable to JDCC, Blow said.

“By placing all four institutions in the mix, the benefits to be derived – chiefly economic and educational ones – will be magnified with all of us located in one region,” he said.

Blow said the process and the 15-18 month timeline for the move will remain the same.

“I tell our people here that things aren’t final until the board approves it, and once the go-ahead is give, things can move forward,” Blow said. “I think it will be approved, and we’ll be on our way.”

Once the steps are completed, the new institution must undergo a SACS three-year monitoring process and meet curriculum accreditation requirements.